Epi #89. Thriving as an Autistic Parent: My Journey with Peaceful ParentingDec 05, 2023
Thriving as an Autistic Parent: My Journey with Peaceful Parenting
Introduction: Embracing Your Unique Parenting Journey
Whether you’re autistic, neurodivergent, or just wonderfully unique, I want you to know something crucial: you are exactly what your children need. You can parent them peacefully, lovingly, and successfully.
I’m living proof of this.
As an autistic mom who’s been on this journey since 2012, I’ve transformed from feeling frustrated to embracing peace, compassion, and joy in parenting. Today, I’m excited to share my story with you, from discovery to thriving.
If you resonate with my journey, I invite you to listen to the full podcast episode for deeper insights and relatable experiences.
Step 1: The Power of Self-Discovery in Parenting
Last week, at 36, I received my professional autism diagnosis.
But even before that, I always knew I was different.
Growing up, I was labeled picky and too much. These labels followed me into motherhood, influencing how I viewed myself as a parent.
But then, a revelation changed everything: every behavior is a communication of a need.
This understanding shifted my perspective from self-criticism to self-compassion. I learned to accommodate my needs and ask for help, a game-changer in my parenting journey.
For instance, after returning from errands, instead of immediately jumping back into parenting, I started taking time to reset my nervous system.
This small change allowed me to parent more calmly and effectively.
Step 2: Redefining Expectations and Embracing What Works for You
The societal pressure to conform to traditional parenting norms can be overwhelming, especially for neurodivergent parents.
I felt the weight of these expectations with breastfeeding.
Despite pressure from every side, I chose to become an exclusive pumper when breastfeeding triggered autistic meltdowns.
This decision was crucial for my well-being and my bond with my twins.
Remember, it’s okay to deviate from the norm. Choose what makes you and your children happy.
Step 3: Honoring Yourself and Your Needs
As someone who needs a significant amount of personal time, finding balance as a parent was challenging but essential.
When my twins were younger, I utilized our neighborhood gym’s daycare to carve out time for myself.
This practice was vital for my mental health and ability to continue being a peaceful parent.
Your needs matter, and it’s crucial to find systems that support your well-being while parenting.
Step 4: Taking One Moment at a Time
Parenting, especially as a neurodivergent individual, can be a rollercoaster of emotions.
There have been times when both my son and I experienced meltdowns simultaneously.
In these moments, I learned the importance of taking things one breath at a time.
By navigating my emotions with grace, I’m teaching my son to do the same.
Your children learn from your resilience.
Remember, you’re not weak for experiencing big feelings; you teach strength through vulnerability.
Conclusion: Embracing Your Strength and Capability
Let go of the guilt and shame. You are not only fit to be a parent, but you also bring unique strengths to your family.
Your journey is powerful, and your experiences are invaluable. You are strong, capable, and exactly the parent your children need.
For more on this journey and insights into peaceful parenting as a neurodivergent individual, tune into my podcast episode on The Parenting With Understanding™️ Podcast.
Free Parenting Assessment Call: If you’re looking for personalized support and a roadmap tailored to your unique parenting journey, schedule a free Parenting Assessment Call with Marcela or a HIC Parenting advisor.
Together, we can uncover the root of your parenting challenges, develop a custom solution, and determine if our coaching services are the right fit for you.
Schedule your call here.
Embrace your journey, embrace your uniqueness, and thrive as the incredible parent you are. 🌟